LATEST: Food Prices Up 58% in Past Year
Despite continued sanctions and economic pressure, the Islamic Republic found reason for cheer on Tuesday beyond the country’s football successes and the election of Hassan Rouhani — imports from the United States rose a whopping 11% in the first quarter of the Persian year, since March 21.
Mehr News reports that Iran imported 4,000 tons of goods from the U.S. since March 21, while Iran’s exports to that country totaled 42 tons, or a value of $106,000.
That $106,000 breaks down into the following goods, according to Mehr: carpets, saffron, and raisins.
Iran imported packed butter, pharmaceutical and food complementary products, alloy sheets, vegetable seeds, antibiotics, and medical equipment were the main imported goods, from the US.
The Central Bank has issued a report that the prices of individual categories of food have risen 42% to 72% in the past year, with an average increase of 58%.
In a telephone conversation yesterday evening, Turkish President Abdullah Gul congratulated Iranian president-election Hassan Rouhani and called for a greater expansion of ties between their two countries.
Rouhani criticised international interference in Turkey’s domestic situation and agreed that “There is no doubt that expansion of ties and cooperation between the two countries can significantly help the resolution of regional issues and restoration of peace and stability in the region.”
Supreme Leader’s IRGC Representative Suggests Rouhani Will Prioritise Economic Over Political Issues
Yadollah Javani, the Supreme Leader’s representative to the IRGC and political advisor, has suggested that president-elect Hassan Rouhani will priorities economic over political issues.
In an editorial for IRGC organ Sobh-e Sadegh, Javani speculated that while reformist groups are urging Rouhani to tackle political issues, such as freeing political prisoners including opposition leaders Mehdi Karoubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, the people want him to follow through on his campaign promises to solve the country’s economic problems. Javani added that the social nature of Rouhani’s support, Rohuani’s first reactions to reformist pressure and “the expectation of the system, Supreme Leader and people for creating economic epic” will make the economy his priority.
(Hat tip: IranTracker)
Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, economic advisor to president-elect Hassan Rouhani, has said, “IRGC, Basij and security organs are great resources for the Islamic revolution and [one] must take advantage of them.”
Hardline news site Mashregh News headlined on Tuesday with an article that calls the Holocaust a “legend” and accuses Israel of using the “Holocaust myth” to get billions of dollars of compensation from Germany.
Mashregh includes photographs from the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem and asserts that the Holocaust memorial museum is “Zionist propaganda”.
The names and testimony of the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust and held by Yad Vashem were included in the UNESCO registry of documentary heritage this month.
Continuing its “all is well” coverage of the economy, Mehr News reports that exports to Iraq reached approximately $6.35 billion last year. However, the real story is that trade between Iran and Iraq is down by more than a third since 2011 when it stood at $9.7 billion.
Hossain Allah Karam of the pro-Khamenei think-tank Ammar Base Central Council has said that in the run up to the Presidential election the group urged nuclear negotiator and candidate Saeed Jalili to step down to improve the chances of Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf.
Karam remarked, “We concluded on Wednesday [before the elections] that the Principlist current could only achieve victory if Jalili withdrew. Therefore we signaled for him to withdraw in favor of [Mohammad Bagher] Qalibaf [but he did not].” His comments give an indication of the level of discord and disunity among the principlist faction during the election.
In an interesting interpretation of the crisis in Syria, Hojjat al-Eslam Rouhollah Hosseinian has suggested that it is a precursor to the coming of the 12th Shia Imam. The Head of the Islamic Revolution Documents Centre said:
The emergence of [the Hidden Imam] is certain, but preparing for his arrival depends on the behavior and deeds of us Iranian people. In Sunni and Shia texts, the prophet has foretold [the emergence] of a people from the East, which in the language of [hadiths] means Iran, [who] will prepare the Mahdi’s power and then rule. For this reason, they have called the Iranian people ‘those who prepare the Mahdi’s rule.’
Imam Sadegh [Sixth Shia Imam] has said that when the carriers of yellow flags confront anti-Shias in Damascus and Iranian forces join them, it is the precursor and sign of the coming of [Mahdi], and we see that the carriers of the yellow flag, meaning Lebanese Hezbollah, are fighting anti-Shia groups in Damascus. Perhaps this is an event that points to the coming of [the Mahdi], and we must prepare ourselves.
Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, has condemned the recent attack on Shia Muslims in Egypt in a phone conversation with his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Kamel Amr. On Sunday, the prominent cleric Sheikh Hassan Shehata and three of his followers were killed at his home in Giza Province by a large group of Sunni Muslims. Iranian relations with Egypt have in recent months, signified by President Morsi’s severing of ties with the Assad regime in Syria, which is strongly supported by Tehran.
A detailed county-by-county breakdown of the results of the 14 June election has finally been posted on the Internet.
Hassan Rouhani won with 52.43% of the vote.